US condemns Gov. Shema over 'killing cockroaches' of politics

US condemns Gov. Shema over 'killing cockroaches' of politics

Thursday, November 20, 2014 4:52 pm

By Simon Ateba

The United States Government said on Thursday that it was ‎deeply troubled over the statement credited to Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema of Katsina State, calling for the killing of the “cockroaches of politics.”

In a video now on YouTube, Mr. Shema likened opposition politicians to “cockroaches” before asking the crowd what to do if they found the nocturnal insect in their apartments.

The crowd chorused “Kill them!”

“Crush them!” the governor responded, agreeing with the crowd.

(You can watch the video here, courtesy of

“The rhetorical threat of violence undermines the democratic process and is utterly unacceptable in a democratic society,” The U.S. Embassy in Abuja said in a statement.

“The United States reiterates its call upon all Nigerians to refrain from advocating, fomenting, or condoning violence before, during, or after the elections.‎”

‎As Nigeria looks ahead to the February 2015 general elections, the Mission said, the U.S. strongly supports a free, transparent, credible, inclusive, and non-violent electoral process.

‎”Participants in the electoral process must demonstrate passion for their convictions and beliefs in a manner that shows respect for opposing differences.

“The Nigerian Constitution itself states it is the duty of every citizen to “respect the dignity of other citizens and the rights and legitimate interests of citizens to live in unity and harmony,” the statement read.

The Mission said language that threatens or incites violence short-circuits the democratic process.

“All Nigerians must be free to voice their opinions and participate in the electoral process without fear of physical retribution. Political parties, elected leaders, and candidates for office have a special obligation to uphold these democratic precepts.”

What Shema said: The full transcript courtesy of Daily Trust:

“The PDP administration in Katsina State has impacted on your life and that of your family.

“You must take your sick child to the hospital for free treatment.

“You have to use the good roads built by the PDP to go to your house.

“Your child has not paid a kobo for his education since I became governor. He is not paying for examinations. [Someone from the audience said WAEC and NECO free]

“From 2007 to date, there is no father that is paying a kobo for his child to go to primary or secondary school, or for WAEC, NECO or NABTEB.

“Therefore, we must be grateful to Allah.

“If you take a look at some states – I don’t have to mention them; but they are many – they have had PDP and other parties at different times. But Katsina has been under the control of the PDP since the return of democracy.

“And don’t worry about political cockroaches. Cockroaches are found in the toilet even at home. The moment you see a cockroach, what do you do? [The audience responded: you kill it]. He repeated the question before he added “Crush them.”

“And I tell you, if anyone touches you, you must retaliate.

“The politics we played in the past, where PDP members are disrespected, humiliated and molested, but we asked them to be patient, now whoever wrongs you, you must retaliate, I said it.”

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